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Time to be inspired: Canada’s smartest kids of 2016

Photo Credit: Ryan Remiorz/ CP Images

The kids are more than alright – they’re brilliant, if we’re going off what Canada’s youth have accomplished this year. Following the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, these clever youngsters showed that a brighter future takes getting an early start in exercising brainpower.

From making Olympic history to inventing clean energy solutions, these whiz kids across the country made their marks on 2016.

Catch up with Canada's Smartest Person! Watch the whole season online.

Penny Oleksiak: Olympic Swimming Champ

Photo: (Stephen McCarthy/Getty Images)

Named top Canadian athlete of 2016, Canada’s most decorated Olympian this year was also its youngest. Penny Oleksiak spent her sweet sixteenth year racking up wins for Team Canada at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.

Her physical intelligence scores highly thanks to the teen’s superb awareness of how her body works. Using her long arms as an advantage in the pool, Oleksiak’s limbs extend for powerful strokes and rapid kicks. With that astute muscle memory, Oleksiak’s athletic prowess nabbed her four Olympic medals and a promising career in sport.

Devontae Hudson: Local Hero

Devontae Hudson, 16, helped Grade 2 student who's new to Canada get to school safely

Photo: CBC News

Sometimes paying attention is all it takes to save the day.

That’s what happened to Toronto teen Devontae Hudson, who was honoured by an elementary school for bringing a lost boy to safety. While commuting, the 16-year-old noticed a seven-year-old sitting alone on the bus. He decided to take the boy to school himself.

Hudson recognized what was wrong on the bus because of his social intelligence. Spotting the difference in the usual bus crowd, the teen could tell there was something wrong. After the boy, who was new to Canada, told him he didn’t know which school he went to, Hudson then used his social savvy to phone a nearby public school for information.

As thanks for his good deed, Hudson was awarded a one-year bus pass, ensuring that Hudson’s compassion and vigilance carries into 2017.

Anne Makosinski: Green Inventor

Anne Makosinski

Photo: Ontario Science Centre

This teen inventor is taking high school science fairs to a whole new level. Hailing from Victoria, B.C., 19-year-old Anne Makosinski’s love for clean energy tinkering has caught international acclaim.

Take her heat-powered coffee mug that can charge smartphones, inspired by her friends’ battery woes: with it and her heat-powered flashlight, she’s won several prizes, grants, and a collaboration with Uniqlo.

Fueled by her logical intelligence, Makosinski tackles real-life dilemmas with a problem-solving outlook and a scientific background. Her analytical mind can think up improvements to situations, producing sustainable solutions informed by her extensive energy expertise.

Niam Jain: Painter

Niam Jain

Photo: Corinne Seminoff/CBC

No words are needed for Niam Jain’s paintings. The 13-year-old’s vivid art speaks for itself. Jain, who is a teen with autism, doesn’t speak verbally often. So when inspiration strikes, he expresses his emotions, thoughts, and creative passions through abstract shapes splashed onto large canvases. While Jain only started painting when he was 12, his spatial smarts has won high praise from Canadian art collectors.

“There’s nothing childlike about this. He has a gift,” one collector says in a CBC interview. With his visual intelligence, Jain can decide which shapes, colours, and patterns form striking visuals. His advanced processing power then finds ideal placements for his brushstrokes, resulting in a crafty masterpiece.

Capri Everitt: Can Sing 80 National Anthems

Capri Everitt

Photo: CBC

She can carry a tune. In fact, she can carry 80 of them.

At only 11 years old, Capri Everitt has toured all over the world with her extraordinary voice and a desire to help others. To raise money for SOS Villages, the kid singer sang 80 national anthems in 80 countries for two years; a feat made more impressive since she sang each in the nation’s native language.

Everitt’s musical intelligence goes beyond her singing. The young Vancouverite is capable of picking up precise tones and rhythms, as well as memorizing lyrics in different languages thanks to her linguistic intelligence. Her voice translates sounds into stirring ballads that uplifts both her audiences and children who benefit from her charity efforts.

Vanya Virmani: Spelling Champ at Seven

Vanya Virmani

Can you spell success? Vanya Virmani sure can.

The seven-year-old wordsmith from New Brunswick competed in an international spelling bee in Washington, D.C., after winning a spelling qualifier at the University of New Brunswick.

Although going up against kids twice her age, Virmani’s love for challenging words kept her in the spelling game.

Linguistic intelligence kicks in when Virmani’s on stage; her enormous word bank is aided by a thorough understanding of patterns, which helps her decipher unfamiliar words.

MORE: Smart Canadian moments that went viral in 2016

This is just a sampling, of course. There are so many great and accomplished Canadian kids. Who did we miss? Who would you want to highlight?


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